chain wear vs. sprocket wear - Kawasaki Versys Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-20-2014, 06:34 PM Thread Starter
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chain wear vs. sprocket wear

At the end of last year I was having this rubbing sound that I found was coming from somewhere near the rear hub. Initially, I thought it was a transmission output shaft bearing, because I would hear it only whilst coasting. I lubed the chain and the rubbing disappeared. I also noticed that the chain mysteriously seemed to tighten. I think I figured it out.



The rear sprocket is a sun aluminium unit and the teeth are worn down. As the teeth wear, they wear predominantly at the tips, thus, changing the position that each roller (Link) sits on the chain. The rubbing is the individual links rubbing up and down on each elongated tooth. The tightening of the chain is actually the rear sprocket wearing as well. The position of where each roller sits on the sprocket is now towards the tips of each tooth, making the sprocket bigger and use more chain. Sort of makes sense.





The rule of thumb that I have always lived by, including bicycling, is to replace both sprockets and chain at the same time. In other words, the worn chain causes the sprocket to prematurely wear out, and a worn sprocket causes a chain to prematurely wear out. I get it. But I replaced the original 46 tooth steel sprocket for an aluminum 44 tooth in the spring of 2012. The rear sprocket is worn, but he chain looks good, as does the original steel 15 tooth front sprocket. I like this ratio, and have just ordered a 44 Tooth Steel rear sprocket.

http://www.ebay.ca/itm/331175409042?...84.m1423.l2649

My question is… can I get away with just changing the rear, or should I say the hell with it and throw on a new front sprocket and chain? I think I can come up with the coin, but I have trouble replacing something that appears good. Though the picture is blurry, there is absolutely no wearing on the front steel sprocket.

I won't be ordering aluminium again...

Last edited by jmarleau; 04-20-2014 at 06:47 PM.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-20-2014, 07:03 PM
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No need to replace anything unless it is beyond useable specs.

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-20-2014, 07:27 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Backroadie View Post
No need to replace anything unless it is beyond useable specs.
True enough, but the specs are for a steel sprocket, not a soft aluminium sprocket. Besides, I can't stand the rubbing sound. I could just flip the sprocket over... but they are cheap... and there is a steel one on the way.

Maybe your right. Maybe I can keep running this as is. Then save the new steel 44 for next year.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-20-2014, 08:44 PM
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I also replace sprockets and chain as set. The thing is they wear into each other so a new chain on old sprocket will wear out much faster. Steel Sprockets are the way to go here, the Versys isn't a race bike and a 1/4 pound not going to kill ya!

With good care I should see 25,000+ on the factory set. I do ride mainly paved roads on the "V" and am easy on the little beast. BUT even my KLR saw close to 15,000 on the factory set and I only had to replace it after I smacked a big rock and bent the rear sprocket and kinked the chain. I have close to 16,000 on the current set and they are in prime shape. Clean and lube often and avoid big rocks too!

Or was that look THEN leap?
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-20-2014, 09:07 PM
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No need to replace the chain unless its bad. Take the chain in your hands and slide it through you hands. Thats how you tell if its good or not!

If it has stiff stops its starting to wear out. If its loose and no stiff stops you are off to the races!


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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-21-2014, 01:24 AM
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Your front sprocket shows significant wear, and your chain is likely elongated and worn out as well. How much mileage is on your original chain? It will quickly ruin your new sprockets if it's not replaced. You should most definitely replace both sprockets and chain as a new matching set.

Drive Chain 20-link Length
Standard: 317.5 ∼ 318.2 mm (12.50 ∼ 12.53 in.)
Service Limit: 323 mm (12.7 in.)

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-21-2014, 03:20 AM
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Originally Posted by invader View Post
Your front sprocket shows significant wear, and your chain is likely well elongated and worn out as well. How much mileage is on your original chain? It will quickly ruin your new sprockets if it's not replaced. You should most definitely replace both sprockets and chain as a new matching set.
Invader, you were first again, you said what I was going to contribute with...
You'd rather replace sprockets/chain as they look worn, jmarleau!!

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-21-2014, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by jmarleau View Post
...Though the picture is blurry, there is absolutely no wearing on the front steel sprocket....
To my eyes your front sprocket has "hooked" teeth (look at the tooth at about the 4 or 5 o'clock position), so it's BAD!

Ed
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-21-2014, 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by fasteddiecopeman View Post
To my eyes your front sprocket has "hooked" teeth (look at the tooth at about the 4 or 5 o'clock position), so it's BAD!
I does not look bad. It's friggin worn out

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-04-2014, 11:39 AM Thread Starter
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UPDATE

Pulled everything apart today and, yes, it is worn out. Chain lasted 21,000km.




The rear sprocket was "toast" as expected. I really feel I would have gotten another 10,000km on this combo if the rear sprocket was not switched to a soft aluminium sprocket when I went to the 15-44 combo.



All of this causes this... to the stock front sprocket. Eddie was right, look at the shape of each tooth. Could I have gotten the season out of it? Not sure. Sure was making some bad noise.



What is interesting is that the chain is exactly 318mm +\- 0.5mm at 20 links. Measured at more than one location on the chain. So it is within Invaders specs. Hope this post helps some people with similar issues.

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I does not look bad. It's friggin worn out
The coffee is strong in Sweden isn't it?
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-05-2014, 12:53 AM
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Aluminium sprockets wear too fast.
Those Burrs on the rear sprocket are not going to help things. Adds more resistance, pushes the plates apart, moves the chain link sideways loosening them up squishing o-rings etc.

You got a good life out of them.
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